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Should I consult a doctor for heart murmur while suffering from anorexia nervosa and having rheumatic Fever as a child?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1980
Answered : 1357 Questions
Thank you. I had Rheumatic Fever as a child. I had a heart murmur when I was in labor. Yesterday a doctor let me know that he detected a heart murmur (27 years after my child was born). I have anorexia nervosa and I am in an active period of attempting to lose weight. Should I see a doctor about the heart murmur? Thank you, XXXX(My primary care dr. is not assisting me for some reason. I don't have a working cell phone)
Posted Mon, 27 Jan 2014 in Valvular Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal 41 minutes later
Brief Answer: Consult a Cardiologist for heart workup Detailed Answer: Hi Ma'am, Thanks for your query. A heart murmur, detected during labor, could have been functional (and not necessarily indicative of a damaged heart valve), as a result of increased rate of blood circulation during labor. On the other hand, appearance of a heart murmur following Rheumatic fever, indicates a damaged valve of the heart. A significantly damaged valve, over a period of time, leads to significant disruption of blood flow in the heart chambers culminating into heart failure. Further, absence of symptoms, such as, breathlessness on less than normal physical exertion, chest pain, swelling over feet or, heaviness in the chest or palpitations, generally excludes a significantly damaged heart valve, if any. Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend that you consult a Cardiologist, who will carry out an ECG and a 2-D Echo to see for evidence of a damaged heart valve and its effect on the heart. A timely diagnosis with initiation of appropriate treatment will prevent further damage (if any) to the heart. Hope I have addressed to your concerns to your complete satisfaction and you find my response helpful and informative. I will be happy to answer further queries, if any. Fond regards and have a nice day, Col (Dr.) Rakesh Karanwal
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Follow-up: Should I consult a doctor for heart murmur while suffering from anorexia nervosa and having rheumatic Fever as a child? 16 minutes later
Do you think that my anorexia and the loss of 30 pounds from Oct., 2013 to XXXXXXX , 10, 2014 is a factor? Also, I was in the hospital a year and four months ago and they didn't detect a problem when they conducted heart tests. Could a problem have developed/worsened in that amount of time? Thank you, XXXX
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal 19 minutes later
Brief Answer: No association with anorexia or weight loss Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Let me assure you that cardiac murmur has NOTHING TO DO with anorexia or significant weight loss. Further, it's good news that your tests were normal 16 months ago. It is also highly unlikely that the murmur could have developed within last 16 months. I am personally of the opinion that a doubt should be cleared and the issue killed once for all and, at the earliest. Otherwise, it will keep on nagging the mind, apart from being a cause of worry. You may therefore consult a Cardiologist as per your convenience.
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